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Tweet me, poke me, DM me: customer service as we’ve never seen before

Tweet me, poke me, DM me: customer service as we’ve never seen before

Will companies soon learn to take on new platforms for customer service? Capita’s research shows there’s not enough customer interaction over phone, let alone online.

March 5, 2012 5:06 by

If we told you the general public here in the UAE prized customer serviced they received from government services ahead of those they received from private sector, how would you react?

Yeah, we shake our heads in disbelief too.

And yet these are the findings of customer service survey across the financial services, utilities and government services from UK-based professional service company Capita.

Not that this says too much about the standard of customer service in the region, but Capita found that  66 percent of UAE residents surveyed feel that overall customer service standards in the Middle East had improved while they had lived in the UAE. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 63 percent said they get the best customer service in visits to service centres; and yet 90 percent of respondents would prefer to interact either over e-mail (36 percent), by phone (31 percent) or on-line (21 percent) rather than visiting service centres (10 percent).

We aren’t terribly surprised with the result. When Kipp in conjunction with our friends at YouGov conducted a survey on customer service in the UAE and the KSA, we found that although 27 percent of the total respondents were unsatisfied with their last customer service experience, an impressive 46 percent where somewhat satisfied.

Nonetheless it is important to note, there is a genuinely pressing desire among residents to make that long overdue switch to alternative methods of customer service.

As Steve Parkinson, Managing Director, Financial Services at Capita told Kipp, for most people under 30, getting service via email, tweets or other forms of social media are seen not as a revolutionary switch but a standard expectation. And it is rather obvious when you start to think about it: in this day and age social media is just another extension of this generation’s form of communication.

But then again, merely having a presence on ‘new age’ forms of communication is not enough. Capita found that for email transactions most people felt that the accuracy of response was more important than how quickly their e-mail was responded to.

The conclusion here is pretty obvious: a thorough and comprehensive presence on alternative modes of customer service, rather than face to face alone, will give a company an advantage over others.

But Kipp need only remember the results of our quick survey of local brands and social media  and  to say, the theory may be obvious but it is yet to be put into practice.

Capita, which officially launched their Middle East office in the UAE this Monday, interviewed nearly 400 UAE residents between January and February of 2012. Almost half of the respondents (46 percent) have been residents in the UAE for more than 10 years.

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  1. chaz on March 6, 2012 4:22 am

    I think it is the usual problem with surveys in UAE: the questions.

    Your website for example has a bizarre one ongoing now asking the usual personal details, such as am I in charge of spending decisions at work and home and moves onto whether I like walking into a room of people I dont know!

    What on earth you get out of this at the end I dont know!!

  2. p.deleon on March 6, 2012 8:03 am

    Hi Chaz,
    Thanks for your feedback. The Kipp survey is designed to collate data that will make it easier for us to paint a picture of our readers. It’ll help us get to know you more so that we can write about more stuff that you care about. Also, we want to know if you like walking into a room full of people because we’re nosy like that! :) But please don’t let that stop you from Kipping!


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